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Rack Pack or Pannier?

arranandyarranandy Posts: 688
edited July 2007 in Commuting chat
After a couple of months commuting a couple of days a weeks I'm going to ditch my rucksack and get a rack and a rackpack or pannier for my bike. Therefore I'm just gathering opinions on which is better or is it all down to personal choice.

I've been looking at the Altura Arran range
Flying Scot? You must be joking!


  • pw1brownpw1brown Posts: 243
    Money permitting, you could get a selection of bags and just use the ones you need for the load you want to carry at that time. Try to carry as little as you reasonably can.

    I used a briefcase pannier for commuting:

    If you put a lot of weight in a rack pack (which is high up) it can have a bad effect on the bike's handling, but I personally like using rack packs for single-day tours. On the other hand, make sure you've enough heel clearance for whichever panniers you choose.
  • h i r 0h i r 0 Posts: 76
    I got one of these for my commute. I carry my laptop, lunch and waterproofs (if I'm not wearing them) and it adds up to a good few pounds. I was a bit worried about feeling lopsided at first, but once you get up to a normal pace it's fine, and now I can balance fine at lights etc. just as if it's not there.

    It felt very liberating to get the bag off my back and lower the centre of gravity. Cars seem to give me a bit more room too. I've even had cars stop and flash me through narrow roads since I started carrying it.
  • andrewc3142andrewc3142 Posts: 906
    I've got a Carradice slim with the SQR fitting to the seat post. Means not having to carry a rucksack (horrible, sticky, horrible) or a rack bag (with the weight of a rack). Works very well for me - carries what I need for commuting, fairly light and is waterproof.

    I opted for an alumium seat post instead of carbon because of this.
  • RufusARufusA Posts: 500
    arranandy wrote:
    After a couple of months commuting a couple of days a weeks I'm going to ditch my rucksack and get a rack and a rackpack or pannier for my bike. I've been looking at the Altura Arran range

    I went for a pannier and it's great, but a rackpack wasn't really a good option for carrying a laptop! I've got an Altura Urban 15": ... 5360029306

    I had to go clipless so I could position my feet in a way that didn't keep clouting the thing when cycling.

    Also it's a little smaller than ideal - great for a laptop, but not a huge amount of room left for charger, paperwork, cables, bike lock. And as for work clothing etc. forget it - the clips are stretched to breaking point as it is!

    Even though it can be zipped up and carried on the shoulder, the lower rack mount can be felt through the fabric, so you end up with a massive bruise on the hip if carrying for any distance.

    Finally I did lose it once. Negotiating a series of speed bumps at speed I think the pannier slipped slightly backwards so that the Klickfix fittings were compressed, and the next bump the pannier deposited itself neatly in the middle of the road! Luckily my crumple gimp kept my laptop safe, and apart from being overtaken again by the PoBs I had chased down and owned, no harm was done!

  • RykardRykard Posts: 582
    I've been commuting fro a couple of months now and got a rack and panniers from Halfrauds in a sale. I keep the laptop\power supply\organiser\ tools in the left as it is heavier and if i have a moment i will fall left and clothes\lunch in the other. Seems to work ok, the only problem I have is keeping my clothes uncreased.... but that's another thread lol

    A Vision of a Champion is someone who is bent over, drenched with sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.
  • arranandyarranandy Posts: 688
    Thanks all for your advice and opinions. I've gone for an Altura briefcase type pannier from my LBS. Looks good on the bike so I'll see what happens on my commute tomorrow.

    Flying Scot? You must be joking!
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